Archive for the “Screenwriting From Iowa” Category


The continuing fictitious conversation between OLD PRODUCER (OP)—who’s 99-years-old— and YOUNG WRITER (YW).  Their goal in this two-person team is to develop (in a free-wheeling style)  a coronavirus-like story. (Part 1 here.) YOUNG WRITER: I made the mistake of starting to watch Tiger King last night. OLD PRODUCER: How far did you get? YW: Oh, […]

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The continuing fictitious conversation between OLD PRODUCER (OP)—who’s 99-years-old— and YOUNG WRITER (YW).  Their goal in this two-person team is to develop (in a free-wheeling style)  a coronavirus-like story. (Part 1 here.) YOUNG WRITER: I made the mistake of starting to watch Tiger King last night. OLD PRODUCER: How far did you get? YW: Oh, […]

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NOTE: Starting today, I’m going to try a little experiment. I’m calling it the Coronavirus Writers’ Room. I don’t mean to downplay the seriousness of the deadly situation around the world. But this is just one way to creatively process all the information coming at us. And in the spirit of books I’ve read where […]

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NOTE: Starting today, I’m going to try a little experiment. I’m calling it the Coronavirus Writers’ Room. I don’t mean to downplay the seriousness of the deadly situation around the world. But this is just one way to creatively process all the information coming at us. And in the spirit of books I’ve read where […]

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When I studied dramatic writing in college my professor John Glavin printed out the screenplay for American Beauty and told me, ‘Notice that it says draft 12.’ I remember thinking, ‘That must be an anomaly.’ But it isn’t. Everything I’ve produced on stage or screen went through 10 or 20 drafts. Believe it or not, […]

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Lean on me When you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on… —Bill Withers (1938-2020) Lean on Me could be the symbolic theme song for 2020 Scott W. Smith

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Here’s a Vanity Fair clip of director Randel Kleiser walking through a scene from the timeless Grease featuring the song You’re the One That I Want sung by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. You’re the One That I Want is one of the top 20 selling singles of all time.  Back in 1978 Travolta was […]

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“Our stories, our books, our films are how we cope with the random trauma-inducing chaos of life as it plays out.” —Bruce Springsteen The antithesis of social distancing for me was the Bruce Springsteen concert I attended on October 2, 1985 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. It was also the best concert I ever attended. […]

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The best laid schemes o‘ mice and men often go astray —Robert Burns (1759-1796) When I hit a period of transition almost 20 years ago, one of the books that was recommended to me was Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Changes in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer […]

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